Popular music festival will not be returning next year

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 8:32 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - People behind a multi-day music festival that has brought thousands of people family-friendly free music for around 40 years, has decided the tradition will not continue in 2024.

The Hills Alive music festival started as a one-day event in 1985, and for almost 40 years, has always been free to the public due to donations and sponsors from the community. However, Carl Bliss, director of marketing for Northwestern Media says due to the resources needed to put on this event every year, the festival will not return in 2024.

“The ability to do a music festival safely and effectively has just become more difficult in recent years. Costs have gone up and the amount of time and resources that are needed to put on a quality festival has just become tough, and these are resources that we think we’re best equipped to use to create quality Christ centered radio in Rapid City,” Bliss said.

Former pastor and current mayor, Jason Salamun, says that while he is disappointed by the news, he hopes someone else will pick up the torch to continue this tradition.

“Well I’m disappointed by the news, but I would say this, lets keep hope alive and lets keep Hills Alive, alive. I’m hopeful that we will have another entity come forward and say we will take that on and continue this Black Hills tradition,” Salamun said.

Salamun says that if someone is interested in taking on the responsibility to keep Hills Alive going, they should reach out to KSLT.